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Paul Rosen

Congratulations on an outstanding career Rosey, thank you for inspiring and touching countless hearts around Canada and the world.

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Paul Rosen



The Dream

Paul Rosen’s childhood dream mirrored the fantasy of virtually every young boy growing up in Canada: to play in the National Hockey League. ‘Rosey’ was well on his way to making that dream a reality. As a 15-year-old, Paul was already dominating at the highest levels of AAA midget hockey – until his dream became a nightmare.

Skating hard in a hockey tournament in 1975, Paul’s skate caught a rut causing his leg to jam, breaking his leg in 14 places. Paul’s leg was shattered, as well as his hopes of playing professional hockey.


The Reality

Rosey’s leg was never the same again. For over two decades following the injury, Paul endured countless surgeries to repair his lifeless leg. In 1997, his leg finally gave out while standing in a German airport during his tenure as the Israeli Men’s Hockey team coach.

Rosey’s leg was in such bad shape, he needed another 14 procedures in the 18 months that followed.


“You’re going to die”

A doctor looked Paul square in the eyes in 1999 and delivered those four words. Paul’s leg had become so damaged, it came to the point where he had to choose between losing his leg and accepting this long term disability, or die within three months. In a life-defining decision, Paul opted – without hesitation – to have his leg amputated above the knee on June 9, 1999 – less than 24 hours after the doctor’s ultimatum.

From then on, Rosey’s perspective, mindset, and purpose would change forever.


Paul’s Athletic Accolades

Even without the experience or support from onlookers, Paul proved doubters wrong by making the cut for the Team Canada Sledge Hockey Team, who’d represent the country at the 2002 Salt Lake City Paralympics. Working hard to disprove the cliché, 'you can’t teach an old dog new tricks', the oldest rookie in the history of sledge hockey was resolute in conquering the sport. He made his sledge hockey & Paralympic debut at 41, with Canada finishing one spot off a podium finish.
Being the oldest rookie sledge hockey skater wasn’t enough for Rosey - he wanted to be one of the best, if not the #1, goaltender on the planet. But as a quintessential team player, Paul put his personal goals behind his teammates, leading Team Canada into the 2006 Paralympic Games in Torino, Italy. With no one giving Canada a shot at medal contention going into the tournament, Rosey went into "shut down mode" on the competition. The goalie went on a historically hot run, shutting out the best sledge hockey players in the world for over 8 straight periods. Overcoming the odds - which Rosey has shown a proclivity of doing - Canada claimed a miraculous Gold Medal, the country’s first in the sport.
Despite having never played professionally, Paul was picked to represent Canada's sitting volleyball team at the 2007 Para-Pan American Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and brought home the bronze medal.
The Canadian Sledge Hockey team couldn’t recapture the same magic from Torino on home soil, finishing a spot off a podium finish once again. The 2010 games would be Rosey’s last appearance in active athletic competition, retiring from the sport at tournament’s end.

Paul’s celebrated sledge hockey career wasn’t the only achievement the dynamic athlete captured in his prime. Rosey can also lay claim to:

  • Competing in the Parapan Am summer games
  • Winning a bronze medal in Sitting Volleyball for Canada at the Parapan Am games
  • Being one of only a handful of athletes who’ve medaled in both summer and winter international competitions
  • Receiving two Paul Harris Fellow Recognition Awards from the Rotary Club
  • Being featured in Sled Head, a documentary about Sledge Hockey

To honour his lifetime of accolades, Paul received a Diamond Jubilee Medal directly from the Prime Minister of Canada and Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.

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